The Need For Speed - Game Info

General Information

Quick Game Summary

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Canada
Platforms: 3DO, DOS, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PC
Release Date: August 31, 1994
The Need for Speed (occasionally referred to in full as Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed) is a 1994 racing video game, developed by Electronic Arts Canada and published by Electronic Arts. It is the first in the Need for Speed series, which spans more than 15 titles to date. The premise of the game involves racing in sport cars, including several exotic models and Japanese imports. The game was noted for its realism and audio and video commentaries. Electronic Arts teamed up with automotive magazine Road & Track to match vehicle behavior, including the mimicking of the sounds made by the vehicles' gear control levers. The game also contained precise vehicle data with spoken commentary, several "magazine style" images of each car interior and exterior and even short video clips highlighting the vehicles set to music.


  • Featured both closed circuits and three point-to-point tracks, each divided into three stages. For the latter, traffic vehicles appeared in races.

  • Included police pursuits, in which the player could be ticketed or arrested after a police car succeeded in catching up with the player. The player was arrested if he/she received a third police ticket, while the Sega Saturn version only required two tickets for the player to be arrested.

  • Featured detailed specifications, history, audio commentaries and real-life videos of each vehicle.

  • Featured data and records of each race, during and after the race. These included speed, track records and racer position.

  • Replay feature allowed the player to view a saved race. Multiple camera views, playback speed and video navigation were offered.

  • A special feature for finishing the tournament's (or entering the cheat) was "rally" mode. This highly popular very fun mode rivaled Sega Rally in its driving dynamics. The car dynamics changed to make for faster arcade experience. Rally mode was in the original PC DOS based version, however it was completely rewritten in the PC Special Edition and Playstation version. This update included new graphics that made the tracks look like dirt.


British magazine PC Power gave the DOS version a score of 95 %, praising car handling, graphics and overall presentation, but criticizing hardware requirements and sound. Jim Varner of GameSpot gave the game a 8.3 "Great" rating and said: "With its marvelous attention to detail, exotic course design, and straightforward gameplay, this game is a true winner. Simply put, The Need for Speed is the next best thing to owning a $200,000 sports car!"; the only criticism was the graphics.

The Need For Speed: Special Edition

Released in 1996, an edition of The Need for Speed, The Need for Speed: Special Edition, is made available only on PC CD-ROM, containing DOS and Windows 95 versions. The Windows 95 version supports DirectX 2 and TCP/IP networking, and includes two new tracks and various enhancements in the game engine. Special Edition is the last game in the Need for Speed series to support DOS, as subsequent releases for the PC only run on Microsoft Windows 95 or above.

However, it can still be run under Windows XP using DOSbox (x86 DOS emulator) for DOS version of the game.

Default Car List

Car NameClass
Acura NSXC
Chevrolet CorvetteB
Dodge Viper RT/10B
Ferrari 512 TRA
Ferrari 512 TRA
Lamborghini Diablo VTA
Lamborghini Diablo VTA
Mazda RX-7C
Porsche 911 Carerra (993)B
Toyota SupraC
Warrior PTO E/2C
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